Often we have users inquire about the speed differences between the Free Edition of Hotspot Shield and the Elite Edition. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The speed will vary from user to user. Factors like ISP (Internet Service Provider), your actual download and upload speeds, the physical distance to the server, your actual location, time of day, and physical hardware can all have positive as well as adverse effects on the speed.
Also, please keep in mind that when you’re connected to Hotspot Shield or any VPN service, data going in and out of your device travels through the VPN servers first before reaching their target. That's how internet anonymity is achieved and why it's normal to experience speed reduction from 30%-50% when using any VPN service.
Below is a sample of speed test results that show the difference between the Free Client and the Elite Client. We are only able to show speed tests for United States Virtual Location as Free Edition of Hotspot Shield does not provide any other Virtual Locations.
Mac Hotspot Shield Free Client:
Mac Hotspot Shield Elite Client:
In case you have a free account, you can try an Elite account for free here.